Trump signs executive orders to ban US transactions with TikTok, WeChat in 45 days
One of the biggest mobile stories of the past week or so has been TikTok and President Trump threatening to ban it in the US. Tonight he escalated things with executive orders against TikTok and another popular app owned by a Chinese company.
Trump tonight issued two executive orders that will prohibit any US citizen or company from having transactions with TikTok owner ByteDance or WeChat owner Tencent . The bans will take effect 45 days from now, which is September 20.
In his executive orders, Trump says that TikTok and WeChat pose a threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the US.
The president goes on to claim that TikTok "automatically captures vast swaths of information", including location data as well as browsing and search histories. A similar claim is made against WeChat.
"TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories," Trump's executive order says. "This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage."
Neither TikTok owner ByteDance nor WeChat owner Tencent has responded to these executive orders yet.
Microsoft recently confirmed that it's in discussions to buy TikTok's operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The talks are ongoing and Microsoft hopes to complete them by September 15, just five days before the deadline of Trump's new executive order.